Spicy Caramel Popcorn

Combine spicy cayenne and sweet-salty caramel for a crunchy, addictive twist to popcorn.
2 servings
Prep Time
05 Mins
Active Time
25 Mins

Make a quick caramel that coats cayenne-spiked popcorn with a sweet and spicy kick. As it cools, the caramel forms a thin, amber shell around each kernel. Don't be surprised if you end up finishing the entire batch by yourself.


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tbsp butter

Prep: Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Set aside.


Make popcorn: Heat the oil and butter in a large pot until butter sizzles. Add the popcorn kernels and cover pot with lid. Turn heat to low and wait for popcorn to pop, shaking the pot every once in a while to ensure that the popcorn does not burn.


Season popcorn: Transfer popcorn to a large bowl, discarding any unpopped kernels. Season popcorn with cayenne pepper and salt.


Make caramel: Combine brown sugar and water to a saucepot over medium heat. Let cook undisturbed until it turns a dark amber color. Add the butter and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the butter melts and bubbles subside.


Coat popcorn: Working quickly, pour caramel over popcorn and stir until popcorn is well coated. Spread evenly on prepared baking sheet and allow to fully cool, about 30 minutes. Break apart and serve.

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